Saalim bin ‘Abdillah (rahimahullah) was the son of the illustrious Sahaabi, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma). He was born during the khilaafah of ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and was a great Muhaddith and Mufti of Madeenah Munawwarah.
On one occasion, the ruler, Hishaam bin ‘Abdil Malik, entered the Ka’bah and met Saalim bin ‘Abdillah (rahimahullah). Seeing this eminent personality, he immediately said, “Do you have any need that you wish to ask of me?” Saalim (rahimahullah) replied, “I am embarrassed to stand in the house of Allah Ta‘ala and place my needs before someone besides Him.”
Thereafter, when they had exited the Ka’bah, Hishaam said to Saalim (rahimahullah), “You may now place your needs before me (as we are no longer in the house of Allah Ta‘ala).” In reply, Saalim (rahimahullah) asked, “Which needs should I place before you? My needs of this world or my needs of the Hereafter?” Hishaam replied, “Your needs of this world.”
Saalim (rahimahullah) responded, “By Allah! I have not placed my needs of this world before the One who owns this world, so how can I place my needs of this world before one who does not own this world?” (Siyaru Aa’laamin Nubalaa vol. 4 pg. 466)
NB: Perhaps it was due to Saalim (rahimahullah) being overcome by his aversion to the world and wealth that he did not present his needs of this world to Allah Ta‘ala.
In today’s world, the phrase “it’s not what you know but who you know” is often repeated. In this regard, great emphasis is placed on making the right ‘contacts’. However, we tend to forget that the only true contact is Allah Ta‘ala. He can be reached through merely raising our hands in du‘aa. Also, contrary to other contacts, he responds to calls even quicker when they are made in the dead of night (at the time of Tahajjud). There is no request too big or too small for Allah Ta‘ala, and He is the only contact who becomes happier with you when you call Him more. Hence, we should place all our needs, those relating to this world and the next, before Allah Ta‘ala, and should turn to Him before anyone else.